“We might think we are nurturing our garden, but of course it’s our garden that is really nurturing us” – Jenny Glow
When you stop eating all the time you have to find something to do with your hands. The game changer for me during this time was I decided to build a garden. I dug out a 15×20 foot section of my yard with the help of my entire family. I began buying seeds and read about square foot gardening, container gardening, and straw bale gardening. I did last year on a fifteen bale garden and installed a underground sprinkler system. I had all this time so why not fill it by growing more food. Giving you all true transparency my husband did a lot of stuff and we had to pay someone to help with other stuff. A 15ft x 20ft is no small endeavor and I advice you don’t do that. Everywhere you will read it says start small. Listen to that message. Start small, and when you think you’ve started small, start smaller, then smaller. I did not head that warning for year one or year two. I’m probably not going to do it this year either but I feel like I should at least mention it.
Machon Note- I knew nothing about gardening when I started. I went too big, too fast. I had straw bales, squares, soil, and containers all in one location. I would never recommend your first garden be anywhere near the size of mine. Everyday it took all the energy I had. A garden is like a small child. You have to give it water, food, and tend to it daily. There was not one day during the peak season that I didn’t have to pick something or prune something. I thought I like cucumbers until I had twenty of them and no plans. I made pickles for everyone and still had plenty to spare. This kept my hands busy and prevented me from randomly eating. I have no idea why I went crazy. Yes I do, I’m extra.
I’m putting out this special message because I’ve fallen in love with gardening and if you want to do it, start now. There are a million rules to gardening but you don’t have to follow any of them. Gardening can be as easy or as intensive as you want it to be. With anything you just should start. The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to grow. What will you eat? What will you give away? What vegetables or fruits bring you joy? The next thing you need to decide is where you plan on having your garden. If you want a plot outside make sure its close to your home. No one wants to go far to garden. You might think you do, but you don’t. As soon as the heat of July or August hits no one wants to be lugging water all the way across the yard. The romance of gardening goes away as soon as the sun starts beaming down on your neck. You also have the option of gardening in containers. This is very appealing because you get to keep everything you want contained. You can have your garden on your front porch if its in containers. The world of possibilities opens up with just small adjustments.
To start your garden you only need a few things. Soil, sun, seeds, and water. It is as simple and as complicated as this. I would love for you all to come on this garden journey with me as a bonus. You will find when you stop eating all the time, you can fill that with some useful stuff. So here is what I need you to do. First make a list of what you would like to grow. Then you need to head to a store and get some seeds. You can also hop online and purchase seeds from a number of seed companies. This year I did a blend of both. I actually purchased all my seeds through the catalogues and got in the store and couldn’t help myself. Yes I have a problem. I think the fun part for you is deciding the varieties of what you want to grow. Your veggies will look like the pictures so grab what catches your eye. FYI- don’t wait to get seeds. I thought I had all the time in the world to get seeds. I wanted to keep researching to get the perfect variety only to watch stuff sell out in minutes. Apparently everyone decided to start gardening the same time I did or vice versa.
When you have picked the seeds you want to grow research the seeds. Yea that’s probably out of order but hey, you have the seeds. Some seeds you will need to start indoors and other you plant right in the ground. Every seed is different and has special needs. its up to you to learn what those are. Also if you are looking at all the snow out your window thinking this girl is crazy believe me its really time to start thinking about your garden.
Come back next week where we will discuss the first crops you need to plant in preparation for the 2021 season. Parsley, thyme, broccoli, mung beans, alfalfa, leeks, onion, oregano, chives, and basil are on the early list. If you plan to start any of these items grab some seed starting kits and potting soil. Correction, grab one kit. Remember we are staying small.
Some of my favorites: Jiffy Seed Starting Kits. These come with everything you need. The growing tray with dome and seed starting pellets. This is the fool proof method. If you want to get a little more ambition get Miracle Grow Potting Mix and use your own pots or growing cells. Don’t use dirt. Potting mix is lighter and helps the seedlings grow.